A West Sacramento man pleaded guilty Thursday to killing his three kids and trying to kill his wife.
Robert Hodges will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole next month. The plea agreement eliminates the possibility Hodges would face a possible death penalty trial. Yolo Coyunty District Attorney Jeff Reisig said the family's desire for a swift and certain conclusion led him to accept the plea deal.
Hodges' wife was in the courtroom when the guilty plea was entered. In September she discovered the bodies of her kids after returning home from work and fighting off her husband as he tried to strangle her before he fled in the family's car.
A number of West Sacramento police officers who responded to the scene and others who were part of the investigation also attended the plea hearing.
Hodges told police he thought eliminating his family and killing himself would end all their problems. He said they were deeply in debt, that the IRS was coming after the family for back taxes, and that he didn't want to leave his family in financial hardship.